New PM Articles for the Week of August 11 – 17

Balloon Above the TreesNew project management articles published on the web during the week of August 11 – 17. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Pawel Brodzinski expands on Jerry Weinberg’s definition, as “a process of creating an environment where people become empowered.”
  • Mike Griffiths considers the limitations of graphical depictions of data, when the information we should be consuming doesn’t graph so well.
  • Ammar Mango plots alternative routes through conflict.
  • Bryan Barrow explains his alternative to Post-It Notes for facilitating a project planning exercise.
  • Michael Girdler extols the virtues of a good scope statement.
  • Roberto Toledo lists his guidelines for fostering innovation.
  • Bruce Harpham begins a series on regulatory project management.
  • Dovilė Misevičiūtė notes that most attempts to institute time tracking fail within the first few months, usually for the same reasons.
  • Rachel Burger spoils “Guardians of the Galaxy,” pointing out the project management lessons. You could have at least waited until the DVD came out …

Agile Methods

  • Kevin Aguanno compares use cases and user stories, and how each can be the right tool for the job.
  • Bart Gerardi explores Bill Wake’s acronym, INVEST, on how to improve the quality of user stories.
  • Mike Cohn reflects on the balance of specialists and generalists in that most Agile team, the sandwich shop.
  • John Goodpasture explores the need for a release sign-off when applying Agile methods. Because it’s not just about software developers.
  • Chuck Morton continues his series of comments on Peter Morris’ article in the October PM Journal. This episode: Agile is not a project management discipline.

Following the Trends

  • Albert Barron explains [whatever] as a service, using pizza. Yes, even your grandmother will understand this one. Admirable, Albert!
  • Marco Visibelli shares recent lessons learned that tell us how companies make (and lose) money on Big Data projects.
  • Rich Maltzman interviews Kim Marotta on how MillerCoors is applying a sustainability strategy to improve performance.
  • Matthew Kosinski interviews Workday’s Liz Dietz on their upcoming Higher Education product.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Rich Maltzman of EarthPM on applying sustainability practices to project management and the PMBOK. Just 49 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Thomas Juli about integrating personal happiness and focus with project success. Just 32 minutes, safe for work.
  • Glen Alleman links us to seven podcasts from Mary Ann Lapham and Suzanne Miller of the Software Engineering Institute on the principles of Agile development.

New Books

  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews “Project Management Workflow: A Business Process Approach,” by Dan Epstein and Rich Maltzman.
  • Henny Portman reviews Alan Ferguson’s new book, “Integrating Prince2.”

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of August 4 – 10

Hot Air BalloonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of August 4 – 10. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Robert Wysocki and Joseph Matthews continue their series on a framework for the occasional project manager.
  • Nick Pisano considers the challenges of integrating cost and schedule on large projects, especially for the federal government.
  • John Goodpasture details why Monte Carlo simulations are better quality than the estimates that go into them.
  • Andy Jordan tells of a “traditional” project manager’s quick adoption of Kanban.
  • Lynda Bourne builds on a pair of earlier posts with her thoughts on designing key performance indicators that actually drive performance.
  • Kevin Korterud selects “estimate to complete” as the most useful metric.
  • Susanne Madsen bullet points the rules for a perfect status report.
  • Bruce Benson finds that the best way to learn from experience is to build systems that remember (and implement) what you’ve learned.
  • Gary Nelson recalls an old friend’s old car, and wishes every project ran like a Honda Civic. And yes, that’s also an acronym …
  • Joanna Carlson analyzes the roll-out of the Minnesota Affordable Care Act site, MNSure.
  • Kerry Wills has a great metaphor for setting context for the issues we document.

Agile Methods

  • Johanna Rothman explains how to avoid three of the most common estimation traps.
  • Glenn Alleman points out the potential for disparate views of Agile, based on the domain, scope, and budget.
  • Mike Cohn notes that Agile does not mean equal, at least for the members of the self-organizing team. Be sure to read the comments – they help Mike clarify some points.
  • David Anderson continues his series on using Kanban for project management.
  • Sanjay Zalavadia explores the need for agility in embracing Agile, especially your test management strategy.

Professional Development

  • Bryan Barrow shares his vision of our transition from project managers to project leaders.
  • Penelope Trunk explains the need to balance focus and breadth, in what she calls “cross-training.” Specialization isn’t just for insects!
  • Suzanne Lucas debunks some falsehoods about networking.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Carlos Flesh on managing projects in Latin America. It’s a cultural thing! Just 47 minutes, safe for work.
  • Carl Smith interviews Larissa Scordato on how she gave up her dream of being an archeologist to become a digital project manager. Just 12 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner details his personal best practices for getting the most out of attending a conference.

New Books

  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Bonnie Biafore’s new book, “Microsoft Project 2013: The Missing Manual.”
  • Ian Whittingham finds project management lessons in the follow-up to Freakonomics, “Think Like a Freak,” by Levitt and Dubner.
  • Bruce Harpham finds project management lessons in a biography of William Shakespeare, somewhere between tragedy and comedy …

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July 28 – August 3

Hot Air BalloonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 28 – August 3. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Contract Management

  • Todd Williams shares some insights gleaned from litigation over failed projects. Unless you only manage internal projects with in-house staff, you need to read this!
  • Glen Alleman articulates the key distinctions between fit for purpose and fit for use, and applies them to project management.
  • Pat Weaver outlines method for preventing, minimizing, or at least making visible, delays due to client inaction.
  • Andy Jordan presents an interesting case study of an outsourced portfolio management office. Or more accurately, outsourced PMO services.

PM Best Practices

  • Pollyanna Pixton notes that it’s easy to get metrics wrong, and explains how to design them to be effective.
  • Craig Brown vents at project management textbooks that get the work breakdown structure wrong.
  • Bryan Barrow points out that there are some things that Kanban software can’t do as well as Gant charting software.
  • Bruce Harpham offers a few stress management best practices.
  • Elizabeth Harrin provides an executive summary of PMI’s “Navigating Complexity” practice guide. PMI members can download the guide at no charge.
  • Kailash Awati mines a paper from the British Medical Journal for an understanding of how organizations deal with human error: scapegoats and systems.
  • Kiron Bondale lists the stakeholder questions you want to answer in your project kickoff meeting.
  • Gina Abudi details a set of roles and responsibilities for team decision making.
  • Nick Pisano considers the early stages of project execution, as the team establishes its operating rhythm.
  • Dan Stober shares the Q&A from his recent webinar on the project manager as business analyst.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Burrows recounts his experience with implementing Kanban with a new team, and how they evolved from a generic process to just what they needed.
  • John Goodpasture expounds on the need for Agile methods to take compliance with external requirements (say, auditors and regulatory agencies) into account.
  • Shim Marom considers (and questions) the incremental value of “deeper” retrospectives.

Professional Development

  • Cheri Baker recounts her recent experience with a French client who wasn’t enchanted with her “American cheerfulness.” Time to recalibrate!
  • Scott Berkun provides a master course in refining and delivering your pitch, so that your ideas get the traction they deserve.
  • Lynda Bourne details the steps in building your personal brand, and leveraging your knowledge of your business contact’s brand.
  • Karina Keith shares some factoids about the profession of project management, to help you get a little perspective.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Ky Nichol on the challenges of managing event projects like the World Cup and the Olympics. Just 39 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior interviews Troy Magennis on how to apply the lessons from Money Ball to portfolio management. Just 9 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mike Wheatley speaks with SAP America VP of Global Operations Tina Rosario on the growing importance of data governance. Just 12 minutes, safe for work.
  • Rich Maltzman and Dave Shirley share a video of a presentation on innovation by former Obama administration CTO Aneesh Chopra. Over an hour, safe for work.

Enjoy!